Eponyms

Words derived from names of real or fictitious people are called Eponyms. It is formed from the Greek word ‘Eponymos’ , which means ‘giving name’. An Eponymos person or thing is one who/which give their name to someone or something.

WordsMeaningEtymology
AmericaContinent (including North and South America)Amerigo Vespucci, Italian Mapmaker
ampereunit of electrical currentAndre M Ampere (1836),French physicist
Achilles’ heela weakness or vulnerabilityAchilles, a hero of Trojan war in Greek mythology. Only his heel was vulnerable where his mother held him while dipping him in River Styx
Atlasa book of maps Atlas was a Titan who was condemned to hold the sky for eternity
August esteemed and respected Augustus Caesar, first Roman emperor
BrailleWritten language for blind people, represented by raised dotsLouise Braille , French educator who went blind at the age of 3 while playing.
Boycottto refuse to buy, or take part in somethingCaptain Charles C. Boycott , an Irish land agent
bloomera type of female costumeAmelia Bloomer (1894), American feminist
bowdlerizeexpurgate portions of writing/bookThomas Bowdler (1895) Editor
Caesar SaladA rich green saladCaesar Cardini , Restaurateur
Cardiganwoollen garment with buttons or zip in the front7th Earl of Cardigan, whose soldiers wore knitted woollen waistcoats to war
CasanovaWomanizerGiacomo Casanova, Italian adventurer and author
chauvinismexcessive devotion and aggressive beliefNicolas Chauvin (1815) French soldier full of excessive patriotism and devotion to Napoleon
Celsiusunit for measuring temperature in centigrade or Celsius scaleAnders Celsius, Swedish astronomer.
Derbyrace or sports competition, premier horse race12th Earl of Derby
Dickensianmelodramatic writingCharles Dickens, author
DraconianSevere (measures or laws)Draco, first legislator of Athens in ancient Greece known for his severe code of laws.
DieselFuel used in trucks and other machinesRudolph Diesel, the German inventor
Eroticrelating to sexual desireEros, Greek God of love
Fahrenheittemperature measurementGabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, physicist
Ferris wheela large vertical wheel, with seats that remain horizontal, used for amusement ridesGeorge Washington Gale Ferris Jr. Pittsburgh bridge builder
gladstonea type of travelling bagW.E. Gladstone (1898), a British statesman
guillotinean apparatus for beheadingJoseph Ignace Guillotin, French physician who invented it as a less cruel means of execution
guya man ,fellowGuy Fawkes, an Italian participant in the Gunpowder plot
Herculeansomething that requires great effort and strengthHercules, God of strength
Hygienepractice of keeping self and surroundings cleanHygeia, Greek goddess of cleanliness and chief attendent to her father Asklepios , God of medicine.
jacuzzia bath tub fitted with underwater jets for messaging the bodyCandido Jacuzzi , inventor of the Jacuzzi brand of baths.
Mentora person who guides and advices someone over a period of timeMentor, a guide/ teacher to Odyssues’s son Telemachus
Morphinepowerful drug for reducing painnamed after Morpheus, Greek God of dreams.
Machratio of an object’s speed in a medium to the sound of speed in that mediumErnst Waldfried Josef Wenzel Mach, Austrian physicist and philosopher
MachiavellianCunning and unscrupulousNicolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, Italian Renaissance diplomat
machintoshrain coatCharles Machintosh (1843), Scottish chemist and inventor
macadamizebuild road with stone-chip and bitumenJohn M. Mac Adam, British Engineer
MarxismAn economic policy in favour of communismKarl Heinrich Marx, German philosopher
Mercurialchangeable and unpredictable behaviourMercury ( originally meant born under the planet Mercury )
mesmerizehypnotizeFranz Friedrich Anton Mesmer (1815) Austrian physician (Father of modern hypnotism)
Narcissistichaving an unusually high opinion and admiration of oneselfNarcissus, a hunter and son of river god Cephissus, who was excessively handsome and fell in love with his own reflection
NicotineA highly addictive chemical found in tobacco plantJean Nicot, French ambassador who sent nicotine from Portugal to France.
Napoleon ComplexAggressive behaviour of people with short height to make up for their statureNapoleon Bonaparte, French military leader
ObamacareA federal law for improving health insurance for US citizensBarak Obama (44th President of USA -2009 to 2017)
Panican extreme anxiety causing unthinking behaviourPan, the Greek God of shepherds who would often cause a stamped among the flocks with his shouts
paparazzia news photographer who takes candid photos of celebritiesPaparazzo, a character of news photographer the film La Dolce Vita
pasteurisationprocess of treating food with heat to eliminate bacteria and increase shelf lifeLouis Pasteur, a French chemist
pompadourhairstyle in which the hair in front of the head is brushed up into a high moundMadam de Pompadour, royal mistress to Louis XV
QuislingtraitorVidkun Quishling (1945), Norwegian polititian
ReaganomicsEconomic philosophy of Ronald Regan during the 80sRonald Reagan, 40th President of United States
saxophonea musical wind instrument with conical brass tube and keysAdolphe Sax, a musical instrument designer in Belgium
silhouettethe outline of an object seen against the lightÈtienne de Silhouette , French finance minister of 18th c whose hobby was cutting outlines of shadow portraits
Sandwichan item of food with filling between two pieces of breadEarl of Sandwich, who was fond of eating his food this way so that he did not have to leave the gaming table
ShrapnelFragments of a shell or bomb thrown by explosionMajor General Henry Shrapnel, British artillery officer
SideburnsFacial hair grown on the sides of the faceAmbrose Burnside, a union leader during Civil War
Tantalizingenticing , something teasingly out of reachKing of Phrygia who was made to stand in a pool of water with fruit hanging above him, which moved away from him if he tried to drink or eatTantalus
teddy beara soft toy bearTheodore Roosevelt, 26th President of USA who was presented with a stuffed toy bear by Morris Michtom
voltelectrical unitAllesandro Volta (1827), Italian Physicist
Vancouvercity in British Columbia, Canada
George Vancouver, explorer
watta unit of power (symbol W)
James Watt ,Scottish inventor
zambonia tractor like machine used to smooth ice in skating rinkFrank Zamboni who invented the first ice resurfacing machine

4 thoughts on “Eponyms

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.